We all love lotteries. They are unpredictable, give a sense of thrill and can make you win money. But apart from simply giving a chance to have fun, some of the lotteries may also help charities. Why? For many years and even centuries, the goal of a lottery was to gain money to help the poor, the disabled, the war victims and others. The money from people’s bets was then transferred to various organisations. So, if you’d like to both play a game and support some local (or global) charity goals, choosing a lottery is a good idea. It’s good to check, though, how much of the profit actually goes to charity.
Below we analyse some of the lotteries and their support towards charity goals and organisations. If you’re interested in comparing all of them, though, take a look at LotteryCritic.com.
The National Lottery
The National Lottery is probably the most popular one, at least in the United Kingdom. It has been working since 1994 and it’s completely free of the prize tax. According to the organisers’ information, around half of the money goes to the prize fund, and almost a quarter of them is given to charity – the so-called ‘good causes’ as the Parliament states. Around 28% of every ticket price also goes for them. The ‘good causes’ are furtherly divided into four categories: health, education, environment and charitable causes, which constitutes 40% of the fund, sport – 20%, arts – 20%, and heritage – 20%. The projects involved in the ‘good causes’ are varied. They include, for example, River and Sea Sense – an organisation that provides water safety education for children, or Fight For Peace, which invests in young people’s education against crime and violence. To see all the charity donations, take a look here. To sum up, it’s worth noticing that around 20% of the 50% of the lottery money dedicated to ‘good causes’ is then used for charity as such.
The Health Lottery
The Health Lottery is another option for those who wish to contribute to charity goals. The lottery has been active since 2011 and it’s meant to support the British healthcare system. It is in fact made up of twelve smaller lotteries all over the UK and it’s broadcast live every week. However, there have been some controversies concerning the lottery, as it turned out that only around 20% of the ticket price goes to charity, while The National Lottery donates 28%. Also, some questions were raised about the legality and general functioning of The Health Lottery.
Euro Millions is a European lottery based in France. It operates in France, the UK, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland and it gives – on average – around 28% of the income to charity. The specific beneficiaries differ in each country, but in general the supported projects include animal protection, health societies and centres, but also environment, tourism and social activities. Euro Millions operates in many places, so the goals and needs are varied. Each country decides about the charity goals on their own, as they know the situation best. If you need some more information, check out the lottery’s website.
People’s Postcode Lottery
People’s Postcode Lottery is another lottery based in Great Britain. It’s a subscription lottery, which means that in order to take part, you need to pay a certain monthly fee. Beneficiaries of the lottery are numerous, and a minimum of 32% of each subscription price is given to charity. The charity organisations are varied and include for example WWF UK, War Child, Royal Voluntary Service or Dogs Trust. Specific groups of beneficiaries are chosen every month by the lottery organisers.
Unity Lottery is a lottery concerned with helping the poorest areas in the society. It’s a convenient way to support the local organisations, because before buying a ticket, you can actually decide what charity goal you would like to contribute to – it’s enough to choose a charity listed on the lottery page. If a particular organisation is not listed, you can always contact the organisers to add it. The weekly fee is usually one pound. From every pound, at least fifty cents go to charity.
Although lotteries may seem to be just a way to have fun, they have a deeper purpose. By buying lottery tickets or subscriptions, the players can support local or global charity organisations and contribute to the improvement in the poorest sectors. When choosing a charity lottery, however, it’s worth to pay attention to the percentage of the ticket price which actually goes to charity – sometimes it may be smaller than you expect. From the lotteries presented above, Unity Lottery provides the biggest percentage – 50%. People’s Postcode Lottery offers 32%, and the smallest one goes from The Health Lottery, which is only around 20%.